NFL Picks Week 5

Well, I was two for five last week. Better, but I’m still not making anyone any money.

Cincinnati covered and the Jets destroyed Miami so badly they had to fire their coach; Denver won, but barely didn’t cover (spread was 4.5)–damn Payton Manning and decaying abilities–and I was right to be nervous about Arizona against St. Louis; the Rams had the Card’s number all day.

And then of course, Dallas failed in overtime, losing by just enough not to cover. Keep in mind with Dallas and Denver, those games end just a little differently and I’m four for five. We’re getting closer.

But as I said last week, betting the NFL is tough. Here it goes…

Lock of the Week

New England (-7.5) at Dallas

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick don’t lose after bye weeks, and they’ll relish the chance to beat America’s team at home–and not just beat–embarrass.

Plus at this point, what can be said of Dallas without Romo and Dez… not much, right? Neither side of the ball has looked that good, and I don’t know how they muster the kind of effort they need to stay in a game against the Pats.

They couldn’t beat gimpy arm Drew Brees last week, and they couldn’t hold onto a two touchdown lead the week before against Atlanta. That’s with Weeden playing pretty well. Sure, the offensive line is still good, and who knows, maybe the defense gets better significantly better with Hardy and McClain coming back.

But these star-less Dallas Cowboys aren’t beating the New England Patriots with Tom Brady, Gronk, and Belichick. They’re going to lose–and it’s not going to be close.

Confidence (8/10)

If these teams are who we think they are…

Arizona (-3.5) at Detroit

The Cards, as I mentioned, looked bad last week, but it’s not a simple matter of dismissing them because they got beaten by the upstart Rams.

First off, the Rams have a defense full of grown-ass, angry men. If their offense was any good, they’d easily make the playoffs–and they still might anyway. I like to think of them as a poor man’s Seahawks–who they beat in week one, I’ll remind you.

Second, what happened to the Cardinals last week is what happens to good teams when they lose–turnovers, fluky plays, and an opponent that plays a flawless game. Make no mistake, Arizona’s a really good team: they’ve got the second best scoring offense in football, paired with the number six scoring defense–and this week they’re playing a Detroit team that’s 29th and 18th in those areas respectively. That’s bad.

Worse, I fear that Detroit’s season was lost officially this past Monday, when NFL refs once again blew a call in Seattle, for Seattle. I don’t know why certain penalties can’t be reviewed, but whoever thought that one up should be drug out into the street, beaten, and shot.

Yes it’s that dumb. Think about it: if you’re going to have review, and the rationale is to get the call right, why in the hell would you limit your ability to get the damned call right? It’s asinine, but I don’t know why we’d expect different from Goodell and the rest of the NFL big wigs. Make no mistake: the NFL is popular because of fantasy football and ESPN, not because it’s a well run league with really smart people making good decisions. They aren’t and they’re not.

Anyway… where the hell was I? Oh yeah, Detroit’s lost season. So on that, no team has ever made the playoffs after starting 0-4, and this Detroit team isn’t going to buck the trend. Maybe Vegas has them as three point dogs because they’re at home and they’re desperate, but we’re past desperate at this point.

Desperate was Stafford’s drive down to the one yard line and Megatron fumbling, followed by a bad ref call. I feel bad for Detroit, but Lion’s fans need to move on to acceptance: accept that this season is lost and hope for a bad season so you can draft some offensive lineman.

And accept that for the Cardinals, the time is now. They win and cover in Detroit.

Confidence (6/10)

Boy, this could get embarrassing…

San Francisco at New York Giants (-7.5)

I don’t normally like taking an eight point favorite, cause you don’t need to win by eight points, and touchdowns usually count for seven…

But oh well. Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49er’s are a flaming dumpster fire. They’re my favorite NFL team, mind you; have been since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. And what I see on the field is nothing short of horrific.

They’re defense tries hard, but beyond that, they’re terrible. I don’t even blame head coach Tomsula, even though he’s clearly outmatched. No, this is the fault of the owners, who decided that getting into a pissing match with Jim Harbaugh–probably among the best ten coaches in all of football right now–was more important than having a good team.

Even ignoring all of that, the 49er’s have a QB that can’t throw the ball. Have you seen Kaep lately? He’s a scatter gun. He misses throws I can make 90% of the time–yes, I mean that quite literally. Sure, the kid’s got a canon, but he’s Nuke Laloosh: not only can he not hit wide-open receivers, he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a fucking boat.

On the other hand, the G-men look as if they’ve righted the ship. That win last week at Buffalo was impressive, and remember, they should probably be 4-0. Put it another way, you’re looking at the number nine scoring offense vs. the number 28 scoring defense, and the 11th best defense against the worst offense in the league.

Bottom line: the awful, horrible, no-good 49ers are playing a pretty decent little Giants team at home in the Sunday Night Game of the Week. Giants win and cover.

Confidence (7/10)

Monday Night Special

Pittsburgh (+3.5) at San Diego

Q: Who let the dogs out? WHO, WHO, WHO-WHO?

A: Michael Vick.

Too soon? Or maybe too late… OK, sorry–I love dogs, btw–but here’s the deal: Pittsburgh should have won last Thursday on a short week with Vick at QB, and going into this game they’ll have had 11 days to prepare for the Chargers, who haven’t looked good. They almost lost to Cleveland at home last week, and the week before, the Vikings pounded them like Chris Christie on a ham sandwich. Sure, maybe those are teams on the rise, but neither is a playoff team this year, and neither has a quarterback that should get anywhere close to beating a team with Phillip Rivers.

Yes, San Diego, with Phillip Rivers and all that talent on both sides of the ball should be better. But they aren’t. As with Miami last week, I smell bad coaching. There aren’t a lot of fixes for that.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are loaded, and their coach, Mike Tomlin has won a Super Bowl and has his team in the playoff hunt year after year. Say what you want about his decisions last week, but they had only three days to prepare with a backup QB and they still win if their kicker makes one of two field goals down the stretch.

Granted, Big Ben’s still out, but Vick is a capable backup, and with ample time to prepare, my guess is Pittsburgh finds more ways to get the ball in the hands of Bell and Brown, two of the most dynamic offensive players in all of football.

I actually like Pittsburgh to win the game straight up, but in this case they’re getting points. Take the Steelers Monday Night.

Confidence (6/10)

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About The Author: Jay Scott

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